Science

Science Staff

Mr G Wright

Curriculum Leader of Science

Mr A Coltman

Assistant Curriculum Leader of Science

Mrs S Lightfoot

Science

Mr P Rose

Science

Mr S Smith

Science

Mrs V Yerbes Ballesteros

Science, Assistant Headteacher and Head of Sixth Form

Year 7

Year 7 Biology

7A Cells, Tissues, Organs & Systems

National Curriculum coverage

  • cells as the fundamental unit of living organisms, including how to observe, interpret and record cell structure using a light microscope
  • the functions of the cell wall, cell membrane, cytoplasm, nucleus, vacuole, mitochondria and chloroplasts
  • the similarities and differences between plant and animal cells
  • the hierarchical organisation of multicellular organisms: from cells to tissues to organs to systems to organisms.

 Working Scientifically

  • use appropriate techniques, apparatus, and materials during fieldwork and laboratory work, paying attention to health and safety (using a light microscope and preparing light microscope slides).

 7B Sexual reproduction in animals

National Curriculum coverage

  • reproduction in humans (as an example of a mammal), including the structure and function of the male and female reproductive systems, menstrual cycle (without details of hormones), gametes, fertilisation, gestation and birth, to include the effect of maternal lifestyle on the foetus through the placenta.

 Working Scientifically

  • understand that scientific methods and theories develop as earlier explanations are modified to take account of new evidence and ideas, together with the importance of publishing results and peer review
  • ask questions and develop a line of enquiry based on observations of the real world, alongside prior knowledge and experience
  • make predictions using scientific knowledge and understanding
  • select, plan and carry out the most appropriate types of scientific enquiries to test predictions, including identifying independent, dependent and control variables, where appropriate.

7C Muscles and bones

National Curriculum coverage

  • the structure and functions of the gas exchange system in humans.
  • the mechanism of breathing to move air in and out of the lungs, using a pressure model to explain the movement of gases, including simple measurements of lung volume
  • the structure and functions of the human skeleton, to include support, protection, movement and making blood cells
  • biomechanics – the interaction between skeleton and muscles, including the measurement of force exerted by different muscles
  • the function of muscles and examples of antagonistic muscles
  • the impact of exercise, on the human gas exchange system
  • the effects of recreational drugs (including substance misuse) on behaviour, health and life processes.

Working Scientifically

  • understand that scientific methods and theories develop as earlier explanations are modified to take account of new evidence and ideas, together with the importance of publishing results and peer review
  • ask questions and develop a line of enquiry based on observations of the real world, alongside prior knowledge and experience

 7D Ecosystems

National Curriculum coverage

  • the interdependence of organisms in an ecosystem, including food webs
  • how organisms affect, and are affected by, their environment, including the accumulation of toxic materials
  • differences between species
  • the variation between individuals within a species being continuous or discontinuous, to include measurement and graphical representation of variation
  • the variation between species and between individuals of the same species means some organisms compete more successfully, which can drive natural selection
  • the importance of maintaining biodiversity

 Working Scientifically

  • present observations and data using appropriate methods, including tables and graphs
  • interpret observations and data, including identifying patterns and using observations, measurements and data to draw conclusions.

 Year 7 Chemistry

7E Mixtures and separation

National Curriculum coverage

  • mixtures, including dissolving
  • simple techniques for separating mixtures: filtration, evaporation, evaporation, distillation and chromatography

 Working Scientifically

  • use appropriate techniques, apparatus, and materials during fieldwork and laboratory work, paying attention to health and safety

This unit also focuses on the aim to equip students with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.

Unit 7F Acids and alkalis

National Curriculum coverage

  • representing chemical reactions using formulae and using equations
  • defining acids and alkalis in terms of neutralisation reactions
  • the pH scale for measuring acidity/alkalinity; and indicators
  • reactions of acids with alkalis to produce a salt plus water

Working Scientifically

  • evaluate risks

7G The particle model

National Curriculum coverage

  • the properties of the different states of matter (solid, liquid and gas) in terms of the particle model, including gas pressure
  • similarities and differences, including density differences, between solids, liquids and gases [Physics]
  • Brownian motion in gases [Physics]
  • differences in arrangements, in motion and in closeness of particles explaining changes of state, shape and density, the anomaly of ice–water transition. [Physics]

Working Scientifically

  • understand that scientific methods and theories develop as earlier explanations are modified to take account of new evidence and ideas, together with the importance of publishing results and peer review
  • make predictions using scientific knowledge and understanding
  • present observations and data using appropriate methods, including tables and graphs

7H Atoms, elements and compounds

National Curriculum coverage

  • the concept of a pure substance
  • mixtures, including dissolving
  • differences between atoms, elements and compounds
  • chemical symbols and formulae for elements and compounds
  • combustion, thermal decomposition, oxidation and displacement reactions
  • the varying physical and chemical properties of different elements
  • the composition of the Earth
  • the difference between chemical and physical changes [physics]
  • atoms and molecules as particles [physics].

Working Scientifically

  • present observations and data using appropriate methods, including tables and graphs
  • understand and use SI units and IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) chemical nomenclature

Year 7 Physics

7I Energy

National Curriculum coverage

Calculation of fuel uses and costs in the domestic context

  • comparing energy values of different foods (from labels) (kJ)
  • comparing amounts of energy transferred (J, kJ, kW hour)
  • fuels and energy resources.

Energy changes and transfers

  • other processes that involve energy transfer: changing motion, dropping an object, completing an electrical circuit, stretching a spring, metabolism of food, burning fuels.

Changes in systems

  • energy as a quantity that can be quantified and calculated; the total energy has the same value before and after a change.

Working Scientifically

  • using ratios and percentages to compare experimental results

7J Current Electricity

National Curriculum coverage

  • electric current, measured in amperes, in circuits, series and parallel circuits and the domestic ring main
  • current as flow of charge
  • differences in resistance between conducting and insulating components.

Working Scientifically

  • using physical models to help to explain phenomena
  • explaining why models are used

7K Forces

National Curriculum coverage

  • forces as pushes or pulls, arising from the interaction between two objects
  • using force arrows in diagrams, adding forces in one dimension, balanced and unbalanced forces
  • forces: associated with deforming objects; stretching and squashing – springs; with rubbing and friction between surfaces, with pushing things out of the way; resistance to motion of air and water
  • forces measured in newtons, measurements of stretch or compression as force is changed
  • force-extension linear relation; Hooke’s Law as a special case
  • pressure measured by ratio of force over area – acting normal to any surface
  • opposing forces and equilibrium: weight held by stretched spring or supported on a compressed surface
  • forces being needed to cause objects to stop or start moving, or to change their speed or direction of motion
  • change depending on direction of force and its size.

Working Scientifically

  • understand and use SI units and IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) chemical nomenclature.

7L Sound

National Curriculum coverage

  • waves on water as undulations which travel through water with transverse motion; these waves can be reflected, and add or cancel – superposition
  • frequencies of sound waves, measured in hertz (Hz); echoes, reflection and absorption of sound.
  • sound needs a medium to travel, the speed of sound in air, in water, in solids
  • sound produced by vibrations of objects, in loud speakers, detected by their effects on microphone diaphragm and the ear drum; sound waves are longitudinal
  • auditory range of humans and animals.
  • pressure waves carrying energy, use for cleaning and physiotherapy by ultra-sound; waves transferring information for conversion to electrical signals by microphone.

Working Scientifically

  • drawing and interpreting line graphs drawing and interpreting scatter graphs.

Year 8

Year 8 Biology

8A Food and digestion

National Curriculum coverage

  • content of a healthy human diet: carbohydrates, lipids (fats and oils), proteins, vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre and water, and why each is needed
  • calculations of energy requirements in a healthy daily diet
  • the tissues and organs of the digestive system, including adaptations to function and how the digestive system digests food (enzymes simply as biological catalysts)
  • the role of diffusion in the movement of materials in and between cells

Working Scientifically

  • apply mathematical concepts and calculate results

8B Plants

National Curriculum coverage

  • plants making carbohydrates in their leaves by photosynthesis and gaining mineral nutrients and water from the soil via their roots.
  • reproduction in plants, including flower structure, wind and insect pollination, fertilisation, seed and fruit formation and dispersal, including quantitative investigation of some dispersal mechanisms
  • the interdependence of organisms in an ecosystem, including food webs and insect pollinated crops
  • the importance of plant reproduction through insect pollination in human food security
  • heredity as the process by which genetic information is transmitted from one generation to the next
  • differences between species
  • the variation between individuals within a species being continuous or discontinuous, to include measurement and graphical representation of variation
  • the importance of maintaining biodiversity and the use of gene banks to preserve hereditary material.

Working Scientifically

  • make and record observations and measurements using a range of methods for different investigations; and evaluate the reliability of methods and suggest possible improvements
  • apply sampling techniques

8C Breathing and respiration

National Curriculum coverage

  • the role of diffusion in the movement of materials in and between cells
  • the structure and functions of the gas exchange system in humans, including adaptations to function
  • the mechanism of breathing to move air in and out of the lungs, using a pressure model to explain the movement of gases, including simple measurements of lung volume
  • the impact of exercise, asthma and smoking on the breathing system on the human gas exchange system
  • aerobic and anaerobic respiration in living organisms, including the breakdown of organic molecules to enable all the other chemical processes necessary for life
  • a word summary for aerobic respiration
  • the process of anaerobic respiration in humans and micro-organisms, including fermentation, and the word equation for anaerobic respiration

Working Scientifically

  • apply mathematical concepts and calculate results

8D Unicellular organisms

National Curriculum coverage

  • cells as the fundamental unit of living organisms, including how to observe, interpret and record cell structure using a light microscope
  • the similarities and differences between plant and animal cells
  • the role of diffusion in the movement of materials in and between cells
  • the structural adaptations of some unicellular organisms
  • the hierarchical organisation of multicellular organisms: from cells to tissues to organs to systems to organisms
  • the dependence of almost all life on Earth on the ability of photosynthetic organisms, such as plants and algae, to use sunlight in photosynthesis to build organic molecules that are an essential energy store and to maintain levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
  • the process of anaerobic respiration in humans and micro-organisms, including fermentation, and the word equation for anaerobic respiration
  • the differences between aerobic and anaerobic respiration, in terms of reactants, the products formed and the implications for the organism

Working Scientifically

  • evaluate risks

Year 8 Chemistry

7E (Transition topic – old curriculum to new) Mixtures and separation

National Curriculum coverage

  • mixtures, including dissolving
  • simple techniques for separating mixtures: filtration, evaporation, evaporation, distillation and chromatography

Working Scientifically

  • use appropriate techniques, apparatus, and materials during fieldwork and laboratory work, paying attention to health and safety

This unit also focuses on the aim to equip students with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.

8E Combustion

National Curriculum coverage

  • the properties of the different states of matter (solid, liquid and gas) in terms of the particle model, including gas pressure
  • differences between atoms, elements and compounds
  • chemical symbols and formulae for elements and compounds
  • conservation of mass in changes of state and chemical reactions.
  • chemical reactions as the rearrangement of atoms
  • representing chemical reactions using formulae and using equations
  • combustion, thermal decomposition, oxidation and displacement reactions
  • what catalysts do.
  • exothermic and endothermic chemical reactions (qualitative)
  • the carbon cycle
  • the composition of the atmosphere
  • the production of carbon dioxide by human activity and the impact on climate.

Working Scientifically

  • select, plan and carry out the most appropriate types of scientific enquiries to test predictions, including identifying independent, dependent and control variables, where appropriate

8F The Periodic Table

  • a simple (Dalton) atomic model
  • differences between atoms, elements and compounds
  • chemical symbols and formulae for elements and compounds
  • chemical reactions as the rearrangement of atoms
  • representing chemical reactions using formulae and using equations
  • the varying physical and chemical properties of different elements
  • the principles underpinning the Mendeleev Periodic Table
  • the Periodic Table: periods and groups; metals and non-metals
  • how patterns in reactions can be predicted with reference to the Periodic Table
  • the chemical properties of metals and non-metals
  • the chemical properties of metal and non-metal oxides with respect to acidity

Working Scientifically

  • interpreting observations and data, including identifying patterns and using observations, measurements and data to draw conclusions
  • presenting reasoned explanations, including explaining data in relation to predictions and hypotheses
  • evaluating data, showing awareness of potential sources of random and systematic error

8G Metals

National Curriculum coverage

  • representing chemical reactions using formulae and using equations
  • the varying physical and chemical properties of different elements
  • the properties of metals and non-metals
  • combustion, thermal decomposition, oxidation and displacement reactions
  • chemical symbols and formulae for elements and compounds
  • the order of metals and carbon in the reactivity series
  • 6  reactions of acids with metals to produce a salt plus hydrogen
  • the concept of a pure substance
  • mixtures, including dissolving
  • the identification of pure substances

Working Scientifically

  • make and record observations and measurements using a range of methods for different investigations; and evaluate the reliability of methods and suggest possible improvements

8H Rocks

National Curriculum coverage

  • chemical symbols and formulae for elements and compounds
  • mixtures, including dissolving
  • representing chemical reactions using formulae and using equations
  • combustion, thermal decomposition, oxidation and displacement reactions
  • energy changes on changes of state (qualitative)
  • exothermic and endothermic chemical reactions (qualitative)
  • the composition of the Earth
  • the structure of the Earth
  • the rock cycle and the formation of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks
  • Earth as a source of limited resources and the efficacy of recycling
  • the carbon cycle
  • the composition of the atmosphere
  • the production of carbon dioxide by human activity and the impact on climate.

Working Scientifically

  • understand that scientific methods and theories develop as earlier explanations are modified to take account of new evidence and ideas, together with the importance of publishing results and peer review

Year 8 Physics

8I Fluids

National Curriculum coverage

  • forces: associated with deforming objects; stretching and squashing – springs; with rubbing and friction between surfaces, with pushing things out of the way; resistance to motion of air and water
  • atmospheric pressure, decreases with increase of height as weight of air above decreases with height
  • pressure in liquids, increasing with depth; upthrust effects, floating and sinking
  • pressure measured by ratio of force over area – acting normal to any surface.
  • conservation of material and of mass, and reversibility, in melting, freezing, evaporation, sublimation, condensation, dissolving
  • similarities and differences, including density differences, between solids, liquids and gases
  • the difference between chemical and physical changes
  • the differences in arrangements, in motion and in closeness of particles explaining changes of state, shape and density, the anomaly of ice-water transition
  • atoms and molecules as particles
  • changes with temperature in motion and spacing of particles

Working Scientifically

  • apply mathematical concepts and calculate results
  • use and derive simple equations and carry out appropriate calculations

8J Light

National Curriculum coverage

  • the similarities and differences between light waves and waves in matter
  • light waves travelling through a vacuum; speed of light
  • the transmission of light through materials: absorption, diffuse scattering and specular reflection at a surface
  • use of ray model to explain imaging in mirrors, the pinhole camera, the refraction of light and action of convex lens in focusing (qualitative); the human eye
  • light transferring energy from source to absorber leading to chemical and electrical effects; photo-sensitive material in the retina and in cameras
  • colours and the different frequencies of light, white light and prisms (qualitative only); differential colour effects in absorption and diffuse reflection.

Working Scientifically

  • make and record observations and measurements using a range of methods for different investigations

8K Energy Transfers

National Curriculum coverage

  • comparing power ratings of appliances in watts (W, kW)
  • comparing amounts of energy transferred (J, kJ, kW hour)
  • domestic fuel bills, fuel use and costs
  • heating and thermal equilibrium: temperature difference between two objects leading to energy transfer from the hotter to the cooler one, through contact (conduction) or radiation; such transfers tending to reduce the temperature difference: use of insulators
  • energy as a quantity that can be quantified and calculated; the total energy has the same value before and after a change
  • comparing the starting with the final conditions of a system and describing increases and decreases in the amounts of energy associated with movements, temperatures, changes in positions in a field, in elastic distortions and in chemical compositions
  • using physical processes and mechanisms, rather than energy, to explain the intermediate steps that bring about such changes.

Working Scientifically

  • pay attention to objectivity and concern for accuracy, precision, repeatability and reproducibility

8L Space

National Curriculum coverage

  • gravity forces between Earth and Moon, and between Earth and Sun (qualitative only)
  • different on other planets and stars
  • gravity force, weight = mass x gravitational field strength (g)
  • on Earth g=10 N/kg,
  • our Sun as a star, other stars in our galaxy, other galaxies
  • the seasons and the Earth’s tilt
  • day length at different times of year, in different hemispheres
  • the light year as a unit of astronomical distance

Working Scientifically

  • apply mathematical concepts and calculate results
  • use and derive simple equations and carry out appropriate calculations

Year 9

Science Year 9 Autumn Term

Science is taught in a modular pattern. Each class will cover 4 units each of Biology, Chemistry and Physics taught by subject specialists on a rota. Much of the work done throughout the year will be at GCSE standard. All students will fully start key stage 4 courses after Easter. The pattern below shows an outline up to February.

Unit 9A: Inheritance and Selection
In this unit, pupils:

  • learn that characteristics are inherited and how this is used in selective breeding
  • learn why selective breeding is important
  • learn about variations arising from environmental differences
  • collect, organise and use large data sets relating to variation
  • look for patterns in data
  • evaluate the strength of evidence

Unit 9B: Fit and Healthy
In this unit, pupils:

  • learn how the human respiratory, digestive and circulatory systems interact to maintain activity
  • learn about the functions of the skeleton
  • learn about ways in which diet, exercise, smoking and drugs affect health
  • learn the different aspects of fitness 
  • carry out and evaluate tests of different aspects of fitness

Unit9E: Reactions of Metals and Metal Compounds
In this unit, pupils:

  • explore the properties of metals and non-metals
  • learn that different acids react in similar ways with metals, with metal carbonates and with metal oxides
  • represent elements by symbols and compounds by formulae
  • use word and symbol equations to describe these reactions
  • describe patterns in qualitative data about reactions
  • use patterns in reactions to make predictions about other reactions
  • devise and evaluate a method for preparing a sample of a specified salt

Unit 9F: Patterns of Reactivity
In this unit, pupils:

  • learn that although metals react in a similar way with oxygen, water and acids, some react more readily than others
  • establish and use a reactivity series for metals
  • represent chemical reactions by word and/or symbol equations
  • use a proposed reactivity series to make predictions
  • present qualitative data in a way which enables patterns to be described
  • investigate the relative reactivity of different metals, identifying and controlling relevant variables

Unit 9I: Energy and Electricity
In this unit, pupils:

  • explore a range of useful energy transfers and transformations
  • discuss the use of electricity as a convenient way to transfer energy to do useful things
  • associate the concept of voltage with the transfer of energy in a circuit
  • investigate the voltage of cells
  • study how electricity is generated, with reference to environmental impacts
  • use the principle of conservation of energy to identify ways in which energy is dissipated during transfers
  • In scientific enquiry pupils:
  • use models to explain observations relating to electric currents
  • use scientific knowledge to frame a question for investigation
  • measure voltage in circuits
  • identify patterns in the measurements of voltage in series circuits and use these to draw conclusions

Unit 9J: Gravity and Space
In this unit, pupils:

  • learn about the gravitational pull between bodies; how it depends on the masses of bodies and the distance between them
  • relate the movement of planets around the Sun, and that of satellites around the Earth, to gravitation
  • study how artificial satellites are used to observe the Earth and provide information about the solar system and the universe
  • find out about space exploration
  • consider different views of the nature of the solar system and evaluate them against relevant evidence
  • learn how scientists work together to gather and interpret evidence from space
  • make predictions from patterns in data
  • consider and evaluate conflicting evidence

The pattern below shows an outline from February to April.
Unit 9B: Fit and Healthy (Further work on this unit, started in the autumn term)
In the rest of this unit, pupils:

  • learn about the functions of the skeleton
  • learn about the structure of different types of joint
  • investigate the action of the arm as a lever and analyse and evaluate data collected 
  • learn about ways in which diet, alcohol and exercise affects health

Unit 9C: Plants
In the rest of this unit, pupils:

  • learn about photosynthesis as the key process producing new plant biomass
  • that the carbon dioxide for photosynthesis comes from the air and that the water is absorbed through the roots
  • that chlorophyll enables a plant to utilise light in photosynthesis
  • about the role of the leaf in photosynthesis
  • about the importance of photosynthesis to humans and other animals
  • consider how knowledge about the gases in the air has led to development of ideas about photosynthesis
  • interpret data and graphs using scientific knowledge and understanding
  • investigate photosynthesis in pond weed, controlling relevant variables

Unit 9G: Environmental Chemistry and using Chemistry
In this unit, pupils:

  • learn that rocks, soils and building materials have a variety of chemical characteristics
  • learn that chemical weathering alters rocks and building materials over time
  • consider how the atmosphere and water resources are affected by natural processes and the activity of humans
  • consider how environmental conditions are monitored and controlled
  • distinguish between different environmental issues
  • consider how scientists work to monitor the environment
  • decide on the suitability of secondary sources for providing information on a particular question
  • consider how evidence for climate and environmental change needs careful interpretation
  • evaluate the evidence obtained
  • investigate environmental change using evidence from secondary sources
  • investigate chemical reactions as energy sources: exothermic and endothermic reactions
  • investigate chemical reactions that take place when fuels burn
  • learn about using chemical reactions to make new materials and what happens to atoms and molecules when new materials are made

Unit 9N: Investigative Chemistry
In this unit, pupils:

  • will carry out investigations to develop scientific skills needed at GCSE
  • develop skills planning experiments
  • develop their ability to analyse and interpret experimental data
  • develop their skills of evaluation of method and data

Unit 9K: Speeding Up
In this unit, pupils:

  • use the concept of speed 
  • consider the relationship between forces (including balanced forces) on an object, and its movement
  • study the effects of water and air resistance on speed, and how streamlining reduces these effects
  • use ideas of balanced and unbalanced forces to explain the movement of falling objects
  • measure and calculate, with appropriate precision, the speed of objects in a range of situations
  • consider a range of techniques for measuring time and evaluate their relative accuracy and appropriateness for different situations
  • construct and interpret speed–time graphs, describing patterns or relationships

Unit 9M: Investigative Physics
In this unit, pupils:

  • will carry out investigations to develop scientific skills needed at GCSE
  • develop skills planning experiments
  • develop their ability to analyse and interpret experimental data
  • develop their skills of evaluation of method and data

Recommended Resources

  • Letts Lonsdale KS3 Essentials Year 9 Science Coursebook (can be purchased at a reduced price through school)
  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/ks3bitesize/science/ 
  • http://www.scibermonkey.org/ (excellent site for all Key Stage 3 Science topics) 
  • http://www.schoolscience.co.uk/

How You Can Help

  • Check homework has been completed and help with spelling, punctuation and grammar.
  • Encourage students to take part in extracurricular science and engineering.
  • Encourage reading books and magazines about science, technology and nature.
  • Encourage watching programmes about science, technology and nature.
  • Visit museums and other places of scientific interest.
  • Help students to see the value of careers in science and engineering.

Equipment Required

  • Pen
  • Pencil
  • Clear plastic ruler
  • Eraser
  • Calculator
  • Coloured pencils

Homework

  • Homework is set at least once a week and should take 30 to 40 minutes.

Assessment

  • Assessment of scientific skills takes place throughout the year. There are examinations in January and July

Key Stage 4 - GCSE

Key Stage 4 Science
 
Our aim as a department is to offer a range of courses suitable for all students.  We offer separate science GCSEs, GCSEs in Science and Additional Science and BTEC courses.
 
GCSE Separate Sciences in Biology, Chemistry and Biology
One set in each year follows GCSE courses studying for three separate GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Students in this set are expected to have gained at least a high level 6 at Key Stage 3. We consider this option the best available preparation for progression to pure science A-level courses in Year 12. It is, however, a challenging option and students should be prepared for a high pace. They are expected to complete regular homework and to undertake private study. All students are expected to take higher tier papers targeting grades A*-B.
 
We offer the OCR (Gateway) courses for which more details, including specifications, can be found here.
 
GCSEs in Science and Additional Science
Students complete a GCSE in Science in Year 10 followed by a GCSE in Additional Science in Year 11. This option is most suitable for those working around level 6 in Year 9. Progression to A-levels in pure or applied science is possible from this option. All students are expected to take higher tier papers targeting grades A*-B.
 
We offer the OCR (Gateway) courses for which more details, including specifications, can be found here.
 
 
BTEC Courses
 
The BTEC courses are vocational in context and, from 2013, will be assessed by an examination (25%  of the final grade) and portfolio work involving assignments set in the context of the relevant industrial sector (75% of the final grade). BTEC Firsts Awards are Level 2 qualifications designed to provide specialist work-related qualifications in a range of sectors. They give learners the knowledge, understanding and skills that they need to prepare for employment. A BTEC First Award will be recognised as equivalent to one GCSE.
 
Most students following the BTEC pathway will study towards the following:
 
    •         Principles of Applied Science Award in Year 10
 
The Principles of Applied Science Award delivers the Key Stage 4 Programme of Study by covering the key scientific principles vital for both scientists and citizens of the future. It develops and exemplifies these principles in applied and vocational contexts, leading to an understanding of how the principles are applied in practice.
 
Further information including full draft specifications can be found here . Work will involve a mixture of practical activities and assignments which will be completed making extensive use of ICT.
 
Students taking BTEC courses are graded as fail, pass, merit, distinction and distinction*. Those who do not achieve the Level 2 qualification may be graded at Level 1. The courses are equivalent to GCSE grades as shown below:
 

BTEC Courses

GCSE Equivalence

Fail

U

Level 1

D-G

Pass

C

Merit

B

Distinction

A

Distinction *

A*

 
Poor attendance would severely limit chances of success but we would expect all students who attend school regularly, and complete the assignments set, to gain at least a Level 1 grade. The vast majority should achieve a Level 2 pass or above. Students who are intending to study pure sciences further should not take these courses but they would be suitable preparation for progression onto the A-level Applied Science course if graded at merit or above.

Key Stage 5 - 'A' Level

BIOLOGY

 
Examination Board:   OCR
 
AS outline
 
The AS specification has 3 units:
 
Unit 1: Cells, Exchange and Transport
 
In this unit, you will study the role of membranes as a fundamental part of the cell and how the structure of the cell surface membrane allows cells to communicate with each other and how scientists increasingly make use of membrane-bound receptors as sites for the action of medicinal drugs.
 
You will also study cell division and how stem cells are modified to produce many difference types of specialised cell and how the use of stem cells has huge potential in medicine.  You will understand the importance of co-operation between cells, tissues, organs and organ systems and make particular study of exchange surfaces and breathing and transport systems in animals and plants.
 
Assessment
11/4 hour examination in January
 
 
Unit 2: Molecules, Biodiversity, Food and Health
 
In this unit you will study the structure and function of important biological molecules, diet, food production and the consequences for health of an unbalanced diet.  A study is also made of the role of pathogens, parasites and environmental factors in the development of disease and mammalian defence against infectious disease.
 
You will also study how evolution has generated a very wide range of organisms and how all organisms share a common ancestry that allows them to be classified.  You will appreciate the increasing recognition of the need to maintain biodiversity.
 
Assessment
11/2 hour examination in the summer
 
Unit 3: Practical Skills in Biology
 
Internally assessed practical OCR-set assessments
 
 
A2 Units
 
 
Unit 4: Communications, Homeostatis and Energy
 
This unit examines the nervous, endocrine and excretory systems of the body.  You will also study the biochemistry of photosynthesis and respiration.
 
Assessment
11/4 hour paper in January
 
Unit 5: Control, Genomes and Environment
 
This unit involves a study of variation and genetics and applications of biotechnology and gene technologies.  You will also study ecology, plant and animal responses and animal behaviour.
 
Assessment
1 hour 45 minutes paper in the summer
 
Unit 6: Practical Skills in Biology 2
 
Internally assessed practical OCR-set assessments
 
 
Important Note
Some of the practical fieldwork for this course will be carried out as part of a residential fieldtrip.  Students should be aware that there will be a cost implication.
 
For further details:
Pick up a course booklet from Mr G Wright and discuss whether the course is suitable for you.
 
Visit the OCR site here for more information
 
 
APPLIED SCIENCE

 
OCR Applied Science
 
This is a broad-based qualification in Applied Science that will give a general vocational introduction to science. There are many opportunities for students to actively experience the scientific environment through work place visits, case studies and research. Students will be expected to play an active part in their own learning through research, completion of practical procedures, work-placed visits and the production of portfolio evidence.
 
Entry Requirements
 
Students will have a minimum of a Grade C in GCSE Science and Additional Science or a Merit in a First Diploma in Applied Science and a minimum of a GCSE Grade C in English and Mathematics.
 
Assessment
 
At AS, two units are assessed by portfolio evidence and one unit is externally examined by written examination. The A2 course follows a similar pattern. Assessment is 67% portfolio so students who are motivated to complete assignments to deadlines would be expected to be successful. Those who lack organisational skills and commitment are unlikely to achieve success.
 
Progression to Further Qualifications
 
Candidates who achieve this qualification may be prepared to enter a variety of HND or degree level courses in science-related subjects. We would recommend that students considering courses in, e.g. medicine, dentistry, veterinary science and pure sciences, should normally take pure science A Levels. We strongly recommend that all students discuss plans with sixth form tutors and check the entry requirements of courses they may be interested in before embarking on study at AS Level.
 
A Summary of the Specification
 
AS Course
Three unit Advanced Subsidiary GCE: Candidates take Units 1, 2 and 3.
           
Unit 1 Science at Work
This AS level unit is mandatory and is internally assessed by portfolio evidence.
 
This unit will give you the opportunity to investigate the importance of science, and the people involved, in a wide range of organisations. It will include workplace visits and you will have the opportunity to investigate the science really used, the type of work actually carried out and to carry out some standard procedures. You will study four science based organisations, one of which is done in depth. Last year students studied Blackburn Rovers Football Club in depth and also studied the work of a brewery, Smithkline-Beecham and a pharmacist. Students will also be expected to choose an organisation to study which should include a site visit.
 
Two practical procedures are completed in this unit set in a vocational context, calculations made using the data which must be processed and evaluated. Last year, for example, students made aspirin and determined its purity.
 
Unit 2 Analysis at Work
This AS level unit is mandatory and is internally assessed by portfolio evidence.
 
By studying this unit, you will understand the principles of analytical techniques used in forensic, pathology and research laboratories, and also in the chemical and energy industries.
 
Your portfolio evidence will include:
  • a study of one organisation’s energy policy  including energy efficiency and environmental impact;
  • an in-depth study of a chosen method of producing electricity;
  • evidence that you have safely completed four practical analyses and appropriately recorded, processed and evaluated the data.
 
Unit 3 Monitoring the Activity of the Human Body
This AS level unit is mandatory and is externally assessed by examination.
 
You will learn how cells obtain energy from respiration, and how this process is linked to the activity of the body as a whole, and particularly the role the circulatory and respiratory systems play in the transfer of energy. You will learn about some of the substances carried by the blood, and how the levels of these substances vary and are regulated. For example you will study methods of testing for blood sugar, drugs and alcohol and how antibodies for HIV or hepatitis are detected. You will apply knowledge of structure and function of the circulatory and respiratory systems and study methods of taking physiological measurements and their uses in medical and sports science. For example, you will study some methods of measuring lung function and how ECG traces can give information about the heart. You will study how imaging methods such as ultrasound, X-rays, MRI and CAT scans work and will gain an understanding of regulations and ethical issues relating to monitoring diagnosis and treatments.
           
A2 Course
At A2, students will complete an extended research project and take an examination covering the applications of what they have learnt throughout the course about sampling, testing and processing. One further optional unit is covered, the choice of which will be determined by the expertise of the member of staff involved in consultation with students.
 
Last year, students studied Unit 14: Ecology and Managing the Environment.  Much of the practical work and teaching for this unit was carried out on a residential fieldtrip.  Students should be aware that there will be a cost implication if this unit is followed. 
 
For further details including a course booklet, students should see Mr G Wright.  Full details of the course may be found here.